Big Red

May 5th, 2011

Big Red - Behind The Awkwardness

“My mom sewed clothes for the family as I was growing up. Since our family sang together in churches in Indiana and Michigan in the 70’s, she had the grand idea of making red polyester suits with a hint of orange Polka dots (along with the awesomely huge bow ties). Gotta love ya, Mom! And BTW, I’m the little boy next to dad. Today, my family of 7 children all play in our own family music group, but without the polyester.”

(submitted by John)

58 Responses to “Big Red”

  1. tanyaya says:

    so many fine details – just one i have to mention that no one else has – i love the gender-coded bow ties.

  2. AaRoN says:

    I think that is OUTSTANDING ! ! We need more of this . Good work mom and dad and guys and wife’s !!

  3. Amanda-in-Austin says:

    Your mom is a great seamstress. I mean, her ability to sew garments that are difficult is amazing. 🙂

  4. Eileen says:

    Simply Red.

  5. Beth says:

    This barbershop octet makes me proud to be an American.

  6. Bessie says:

    My mum used to dress my brother, my sister and I in matching clothes (always navy blue and white) when i was young. We have some lovely photos! Like this one. My mother now gives my nieces (my sisters kids) matching dresses for Christmas each year and they look adorable, my sister loves it and would also wear a matching dress if one came in her size!

  7. krentz says:

    I don’t even think this looks that awkward. I quite like this photo. Perhaps I have no sense of taste.

  8. Ding says:

    What adorable kids!

  9. Jenny says:

    I LOVE this picture.

  10. Modine says:

    Despite the painful eye-popping horror of the color, I have to admire the talent behind creating all of those outfits. I bet this was a really fun family to grow up in.

  11. Marilyn S says:

    I am the daughter by Dad, remembering when we took a family vacation to Florida we made mom promise not to take those suits but we had to sing in churches anyway. Red topstitching on the vests and Jackets. Girls had long skirts with zippers. Mom sewed every bit of it too.

  12. analisatamara says:

    Shoot. I miss the flamboyant clothes of the 70s.

  13. Liz R says:

    When my children were young, I barely had time to breathe…Six children and she made all those outfits AND found time to practice singing AND to fix your sisters’ carefully coiffed hair?? WOW! Kudos and an extra Happy Mother’s Day hug to your awesome mom, John.

  14. David H says:

    I’ve known the family for slightly less than Jerry H…I’m his younger, better looking brother! They are a great family, and their Dad, Darrell was one of a kind. When he passed, and they had all left, our small town wasn’t the same, and hasn’t been since. I remember their singing and the red polyester.

    • Phillip K says:


      I am grateful to have been part of the family, red polyester and all. I appreciate your kind words! If you could facebook my daughter, we can get in touch!

  15. Karen says:

    I wish this was the Danielson Famile…

  16. Deacon Blues says:

    In spite of the red redness, it’s pretty tame garb considering how loud and garish fashion was in the 70’s. And props to Mom as she is definitely a skilled seamstress.

  17. Coach2 says:

    FYI: All kids are college graduates. Their professions are a high school football coach, church music director, OB-GYN, high school administrator, minister, and musician/insurance salesman. All are married and have kids.

    • LCN says:

      Perhaps a family that dresses the same and takes awkward family photos together is the answer to what makes a family loving and successful with loving families of their own in later years. If so, let me be awkward! LOL

  18. KC says:

    Nice sewing mom! I wish I had your mom’s sewing talent!

  19. sadi says:

    What a great family! The suits sort of remind me of the Partridge Family costumes. Ah, the 70’s!

  20. Angie says:

    I demand a recent photo placed side by side with this one! = ) Beautiful family btw.

  21. Tim says:

    Here’s the story of a lovely lady
    Who was bringing up three very lovely girls.
    All of them had hair of gold, like their mother,
    The youngest one in curls.

    Here’s the store, of a man named Brady,
    Who was busy with three boys of his own,
    They were four men, living all together,
    Yet they were all alone.

  22. davidrh says:

    I know everyone is “liking” Mom for her devotion to sewing these outfits for the whole family, but I gotta say . . . any man who would actually wear a bright red home-made suit . . . REALLY LOVES THAT WOMAN!!!

  23. mollytov says:

    This. Is. Awesome!!! Well done John’s mom, and John too, for posting it 🙂

  24. Ducky says:

    Aw, ‘come on! Red polyester and orange polka dots? It’s AWESOME!

  25. Carolyn says:

    LOVE it. Looks and sounds like a wonderful family. God bless them! 🙂

  26. Pipergirl says:

    I think this family should do battle with the Turtlenecks from the previous post – Blues versus Reds!

  27. Kathy in St. Louis says:

    That was a lot of work. I am noting all the special work on Dad’s suit, for one thing. Seems silly today, but there’s a lot of hours and a whole lot of love in those clothes. You were a lucky boy.

    • PCR says:

      I agree. That’s what I thought of once I got past the red. Lots of time, patience, love – and SKILL. A wonderful Mom.

  28. Alan says:

    I’ll bet you got half price meals when you all went dressed like that to KFC….mmmmm,finger lickin’ goood.

  29. DeeDeeDeeDee says:

    Cute family. I love it, well done John’s mum!

  30. DeeDeeDeeDee says:

    Cute family. I love it!

  31. Jennifer says:

    Truth be told, I like the whole concept. I like that today another generation is continuing on what seems to have begun here. I like that mom made her family clothing, and to be honest, seriously doubt many mom’s could do so today, even something simple.

    I would love to see a family photo of these kids with parents today, and then with the spouses and grandkids. The photo gives a feel that family unity was important. I wonder if it still is? I kind of think so.

    • Jerry H says:

      I have known John’s family for 50 years, as I grew up three doors up the street and worked for their family business while in jr. high and high school. Unfortunately, the father passed away some years ago; but never has there been a finer family. They were a cornerstone of our small town community, and while all are not close geographically, they will forever remain close as a family. I might add…their singing was fantastic!

  32. Don says:

    John- You remind me of the kid that played the lead role in the “Problem Child” movies…especially the day that John Ritter adopted him and picked him up. That’s a good thing though…I thought he made those movies!

  33. justme says:

    Red polyester aside, I have agree with those who say your mom rocked for sewing all that. I also think the photog rocked because I love the way the kids are set up, the triangle pattern. Cool pic!

  34. ln says:

    ADORABLE people and outfits!!! Mom’s sewing skills rock!

  35. JC says:

    They spread out across town, sadly crying to no avail…”CLIFFORD? CLIFFORD? Has anyone seen our dog?”

  36. Lilly says:

    Reminds me of the Partridge Family 🙂

  37. cps says:

    Despite the awkwardness, you have to admire a mom who took the time to sew those fabulously 70’s style outfits for each person in her family. I know that I wouldn’t know how to do it! So to this mom, I solute you!

  38. RosieBH says:

    You know what, God bless your mother! I know the outfits look dated now, ALL clothes from about three years ago and further look dated now, but what a lot of work and dedication she put into making eight suits like that!

  39. Mel says:

    I think this is cute! Your family is attractive and the photo is nicely composed. I’m amazed at your mom’s mad sewing skills!

  40. Rachel says:

    I thought those were the Von Trapps, but at least they had better taste in costumes.

  41. wowzered says:

    Great flashback photo! I’d be willing to place bets that your oldest brother protested to wearing that though!

  42. PANSY22 says:

    I’m sure you’ll look at pictures of your current family music group 30 years from now and say, “What were we thinking?” It’s just the way it is.

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